Parkin, Jennifer (2016) Dances with Sausages: Exploring Musicality in Comedy Through an Analysis of the Morecambe and Wise Show. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis uses established theoretical work on musicality in theatre in order to develop an understanding of the use of musicality in comedy, through an analysis of The Morecambe and Wise Show. David Roesner’s work on musicality intheatre is of particular interest, as it focuses on musicality as the influence of music on work that is not necessarily musical. This allows musicality to be considered within a performance form that can include the use of music, but is not reliant on music to create comedy. Theoretical work on comedy performance from authors such as Oliver Double also provides support for the analysis; although this theoretical work does not directly address musicality in comedy, it discusses elements of comedy performance that can be analysed within the framework of musicality.
This theoretical base is used to analyse a wide range of material from the BBC episodes of The Morecambe and Wise Show, including material such as the ‘Breakfast’ routine, the ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ routine, and the ‘Grieg Piano Concerto’ sketch. The analysis of musicality in this material aims to develop an overview of the use of musicality in the show. As such, it covers a number of different ways in which musicality can be seen within the material. The ability of music to create humour is considered through the use of intermusicality and David Huron’s devices for creating musical humour. The role of rhythm within the use of musicality in comedy is also considered, and this is then developed through discussions of the use of sonic punctuation, the musicality of movement, and the musicality of speech.

Final thesis - PARKIN.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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